Hurricane Katia brews in the Atlantic

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The second hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane season remains far from land this morning, with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour.

Hurricane Katia was about 1,065 miles east of the Leeward Islands as of 5 a.m., according to the National Hurricane Center. There are no coastal warnings or watches associated with the storm.

Katia is expected to strengthen in the next 48 hours and could become a major hurricane by the weekend, forecasters said.

Current projections show the storm passing to the east of Puerto Rico during the weekend or early on Labor Day. It’s too early to tell whether Katia will threaten the East Coast of the United States, which is still cleaning up from Hurricane Irene.

Katia is the name that replaced Katrina for this year’s list of storm names. Names of major hurricanes that cause significant damage are removed from the rotation.

The hurricane center is also warning of a large area of cloudiness and thunderstorms in the Gulf of Mexico that has a 70 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours.

Interests along the northern Gulf of Mexico are urged to monitor the progress of the disturbance.

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